Tongue is one of the sensory organs of the body which contains 8,000 taste buds that detect the various flavors or taste of the food that people eat. Inflamed taste buds on tongue are quite common condition which is usually short-term and have many causes.
Human tongue is divided into five an oral sections such as tip, blade, front, center and back. The tongue moves against the roof of the mouth, teeth and lips that assists us to shape vocal chords into words and allow us to consume and drink correctly. It contains 8,000 taste buds that are present as tiny structures with openings on the tongue surface. Taste buds are different muscle fibers which aid to differentiate the different flavors and taste of the food we eat. Taste buds help people to know the sense of taste like salty, sour, bitter, sweet and umami.
Taste receptors are contained by taste buds which transmit signals to the brain after coming in contact with saliva that brings dissolved food. Sweet taste buds are present on the tip of the tongue, bitter taste back of the tongue, salty taste sides of the tongue and sour taste lateral side of the tongue. Taste buds get swollen by consuming hot and spicy food resulting in inflamed taste buds which is also recognized as swollen taste buds. Generally, the swelling is small and white in color but if inflamed taste buds are not treated it can cause other problems like mouth ulcers and tongue infections.
Causes of Inflamed Taste buds:
Rubbing or biting:
Rubbing or biting is the most common cause for swollen taste buds. Biting can be caused accidentally while chewing or the taste bud can get infected because of a cross bite.
Spicy or acidic food:
Swelling of the taste buds is also caused by consuming very hot, spicy, salty or acidic foods. Spicy food items or acidic foods like lemons, limes, grapefruit, some sauces, etc may irritate the taste buds resulting in swelling.
New toothpaste or oral hygiene product may be responsible for allergic reaction in mouth such as swollen taste buds.
Alcohol and tobacco:
Exposure of taste buds to toxins like alcohol and tobacco allow bacteria to form on the tongue resulting in inflamed taste buds.
Mouth ulcers or tongue ulcers:
Tongue ulcers and mouth ulcers caused because of yeast/thrush infection are another cause of inflamed taste buds.
Trapped food particles or poor oral hygiene may cause infection in the taste bud which has started elsewhere and spread its bacteria into the taste bud area.
Poor diet or low levels of certain vitamins like vitamin B complex also cause taste bud swelling.
Taste bud swelling can be caused due to a reaction to the medication.
Acid reflux disease:
Irritation to the tongue and taste buds can be caused by acid reflux disease.
Inflamed taste buds are also caused by laryngectomy. This surgery is generally done for treating cancer of the larynx in which a part or the entire larynx is removed.
Endocrinal disorders like hypothyroidism, hypoadrenalism and diabetes mellitus, and dental problems also cause inflamed taste buds.
Herbs and supplements:
Certain herbs and supplements for example chewing gymnema leaves can cause inflamed taste buds.
Swollen Taste Buds Treatment:
Learn how to get rid of swollen taste buds using different natural remedies at home. No matter, what causes inflamed taste buds on tongue, but you can still cure it at home.
Ice-cream or ice cubes:
Eating ice cream or applying ice on the tongue is effectual for bringing some relief when taste bud swelling caused because of spicy food or acidic foods or irritants. Applying ice will also decrease the swelling and the stingy sensation connected with the condition.
The swelling of taste buds is also relived by yogurt as it has microorganisms which balance the environment of oral mucosa.
To relieve the discomfort of swollen taste buds, apply baking soda to the tongue as this will cool the swelling, reducing it and eventually curing it.
Tea-tree oil is natural oil which has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that aid to fight infections and conditions that cause swollen taste buds. So gargle with diluted tea-tree oil.
Practice oral hygiene like regular brushing, gargling with mouthwash and flossing as this may help to combat swollen taste buds.
If swollen taste buds are caused because of an infected cut or biting, apply glycerin on the surface of the tongue and after some time spit it out rather than swallowing. Repeat this process thrice in a day.
- While following other methods to treat swollen buds, take vitamins B complex.
- Gargle with warm water and salt.
- Make soup using ginger, garlic and pepper. Consume it two times a week as it fights with the infections in the mouth.
- Gargle with saline mixture made by adding some salt to a glass of warm water. This will helps to ease the swollen taste buds.
- For quicker healing of the inflamed taste buds rinse the mouth with honey.
- Refrain from unhealthy habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.